Couple jailed for 23 years for locking their daughter and subjecting her to years of rape and abuse

A husband and wife who kept their young daughter locked away from the world in their Welsh home and subjected her to years of rape and sexual abuse have been jailed for a total of 23 years.

The child was never allowed out to play, never sent to school, and had no friends,  and is now so damaged she may never be able to be successfully adopted, Swansea Crown Court was told.

The girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was subject to years of abuse by her parents, much of which was photographed by the pair.

The name of the abusers and the specific location of their property cannot be reported to protect the identity of the child, who is now in foster care, but the man is in his 50s and the woman in her 20s.

The couple met in a pub in England when the woman was aged just 16 and within months she was pregnant. They later moved to Wales.

Robin Rouch, prosecuting, told the court that the family did not socialise with neighbours, the daughter was home-schooled, the garden gate was kept padlocked, and curtains at the windows closed.

The man also controlled his wife’s mental health medication and contact with doctors, cut her off from her family, and would not allow her to go shopping.

Mr Rouch said the defendant deliberately created the secluded and tightly controlled home environment ‘in order to systematically and regularly abuse’ his daughter without being discovered.

The prosecutor said it appeared the youngster had become ‘conditioned to see the abuse as normal’.

The abuse eventually came to light when the husband and wife’s relationship broke down and she told police.

When officers raided the couple’s home they found sex toys, pornographic magazines, and newspaper cutting about young girls, along with home schooling books they had used to teach their daughter.

On the mother’s phone officers found 76 indecent images of the couple’s daughter being raped by her father, and sexually assaulted by her mother.

As part of their investigation Welsh detectives then contacted the man’s children from his first marriage – the daughter told them her father had sexually abused her over an 18-month period.

The court heard his second wife is suffering from ‘battered person syndrome’, a form of post-traumatic stress disorder.

The court was told she had in effect been sexually groomed by her husband, who had spotted and exploited her vulnerabilities.

The husband was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 12 years after pleading guilty to 16 counts of rape, sexual assault, and causing a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity, the charges involving both his daughters.

The wife was convicted of 11 counts of sexual assault, causing a child to engage in sexual activity, cruelty by neglect, and taking indecent images after pleading not guilty due to duress.

She was given a 10-year sentence with an extended licence period of one year, and was ordered to be detained in a hospital for psychiatric treatment.


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